What is Halal Bacon? Learn Process and Benefits
Halal bacon is not made using pork but can be made with a variety of different meats provided they can be interchanged with bacon.
Halal refers to the method used to cure the meat as opposed to the specific type of meat. For this reason, halal bacon can be made with almost any type of halal food or halal meat colored or formed to look like a piece of bacon.
The reason pork is inappropriate is that it is not allowed under kosher or Islamic law.
How is Halal Bacon Made?
The procedure begins with a slice of meat. If the bacon is to be halal, the meat must be slaughtered, butchered, and cured according to Islamic guidelines.
The salted meat is then placed in a specific area or a refrigerator and left to cure. The moisture is drawn out by the salt which preserves the meat. The next step is hanging the meat. The type of wood you use will affect the flavor of the meat.
In order to be considered halal, both the meat and bacon must not come into contact with any meat considered non-halal during the curing process. This is the reason only a company or butcher receiving certification for its practice of proper halal procedures can produce halal meat.
What Type of Meat is Used for Halal Bacon?
You have a lot of choices as to which meat you use to make halal bacon.
Throughout history, turkey has been commonly used because it is such a lean meat. In certain areas of the world, halal bacon is only made from steak bacon.
There are also alternate types of halal bacon made from different kinds of fish such as salmon. Halal bacon can also be made using a vegetarian pate provided the method is altered slightly.
In some countries, Halal bacon is produced using smoked turkey breast, Turkish Sucuk sausage, and duck prosciutto. A lot of recipes originating in either Latin America or Europe also include wine. This practice is common in these countries. What is considered halal bacon in one country may not be in another.
Islamic Law and Halal Bacon
The Arabic word for permissible is halal. To be considered halal, the bacon or food must follow Islamic law. This is defined according to the Quran. Islam has a specific method to slaughter poultry and animals.
The animal must be killed by cutting the jugular vein, windpipe, and carotid artery. In order to be appropriate for slaughter, the animal must be healthy and alive. Once the cut is made, all of the blood is drained from the animal.
During this process, a dedication is recited by a Muslim. This is referred to as shahada or tasmiya. There is still a debate regarding halal. This centers on whether or not stunning can be used.
The majority of halal bacon follows the HFA or Halal Food Authority. This organization states an animal cannot be killed by stunning. This non-profit organization is responsible for monitoring the practices necessary for halal and ensuring they are followed.
According to the HFA, stunning is only permissible if the animal survives and halal processes are used to kill the animal.
Kashrut and Halal Bacon
Kashrut is all kosher foods in compliance with Jewish dietary laws. These laws clearly state what is and is not allowed by anyone practicing the Jewish faith. These laws are similar to those practiced in Islam because both require special training for slaughter and a surgically sharp knife. Stunning an animal is forbidden by Jewish law and meats are blessed differently than in Islam. The other differences include:
According to kashrut, the name of God does not have to be said as an initial blessing prior to slaughtering the animal.
To be considered halal, specific parts of the animal are forbidden for consumption including the bladder and testicles.
According to kashrut, certain parts of the animal are unable to be used including specific fats and the sciatic nerve.
Unfortunately, there are no requirements at this time for kosher or halal meat regarding the way it is labeled.
Benefits of Halal Bacon
Turkey or halal bacon are both extremely popular options for people choosing not to eat pork due to personal or religious beliefs. This type of food is easily available and offers both nutritional and health benefits. Some of the most popular benefits include:
1: Rich in Protein:
When halal bacon is made from turkey, the fat content is between two and three grams with more than two grams of protein. Protein is necessary for muscle growth and enables efficient muscle repair after vigorous exercise. Protein also helps to build both cartilage and bone. Protein is essential for different types of enzyme and hormone production.
In most instances, a protein deficiency is extremely dangerous. The difference between carbohydrates and fat and protein is your body does not store protein for the long term so you need a consistent supply. Since halal bacon is rich in protein, it provides your body with a good source.
2: Carbohydrates and Fat:
Halal bacon made from turkey has fewer calories than any of the other meats. There are only 30 to 33 calories per portion. These calories contain macronutrients your body must burn for energy. The carb content is low with only one-third of a gram in each slice and just two to three grams of fat. Even though you should track your fat intake, your body still requires some fats.
The most efficient energy source for your body is fat. When you compare fat to carbs, the latter is harder to lose. Your body also requires fats for both hormone regulation and vitamin absorption. If you are watching your weight, halal bacon is a good snack offering you the fat your body needs.
3: Rich in Zinc:
One of the essential micronutrients is zinc. Halal bacon is rich in zinc. This is important throughout your body and is essential for numerous different functions. Zinc is critical for your immune system because it helps your body to fight disease. If your zinc content is low, your body is at a higher risk for passing viruses and bugs.
Zinc is also important for the production and division of your cells. This is what enables you to heal wounds faster. Think of zinc as a type of doctor for your body. Having enough zinc helps to keep you healthy.
4: Rich in Iron:
Macronutrients such as protein, carbs, and fat are found in the majority of the food you consume. Halal bacon also offers you a good source of these micronutrients including iron. Your red cell function requires iron because it helps ensure your body has enough cells to circulate oxygen throughout your body. Without iron, you are at a higher risk of hypoxemia and hypoxia. Both of these conditions can severely damage your vital organs.
Halal bacon is an important part of a balanced and healthy diet. This does not mean you should only eat halal bacon but it does provide your body with a lot of nutritional value. Even though this type of food was initially created for the Islamic and Jewish faith as a way of eliminating pork, halal bacon is crisp, tender and extremely tasty.
Halal Bacon and Food
There are a lot of foods considered halal in addition to bacon. All of these foods are made according to Islamic law. This is especially true for animal meat because a specific process must be used for the meat to be considered halal.
All of the ingredients in halal foods must be hygienic, pure, and not contain any harmful ingredients. The main reason for the popularity and numerous recipes available is a combination of taste and health.
The history of halal in the United States began during the 1960s due to larger communities of Muslim immigrants.
The population of Muslims continued to increase and spiked during the 1990s. This resulted in specialized butchers capable of slaughtering animals according to the Islamic faith. Eventually, halal products became more diverse and were available all over the world. A label marked halal is considered high-quality.
There are a lot of delicious halal dishes you will most likely enjoy. A good example is halal kebabs made using either cow meat, chicken, or mutton in addition to specific spices and herbs providing the meat with an incredible taste and flavor.
You can find Arabic, Lebanese, Turkish and Indian recipes for halal kabobs. This includes:
- Turkish Kofta kebab
- Beef Gypsy kebob
- Tandoori chicken
- Lamb Kofta kebab
- Chicken Boti kebob
- Lamb Shish kebob
You will also find delicious halal curries including:
- Haandi curry
- Coconut Chicken Curry
- Butter chicken
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Mango chicken curry
- Fish Masala
- Beef Nihari
- Shashi Korma
These types of halal curries are served with saffron basmati rice or chapati. The latter is a specific type of flatbread. These dishes are available in different options to suit your tastes including mild, medium, and hot.